Texas Zoo needs our help

By the Advocate Editorial Board
Sept. 27, 2010 at 4:27 a.m.

The Texas Zoo needs our help. The lemur exhibit was demolished by a huge pecan tree that fell over on it Saturday morning.

All five lemurs were uninjured and are being held in quarantine quarters until their habitat exhibit is restored. Lemurs come from Madagascar and are a protected species. A lemur also appeared in the animation "Madagascar" -- you might remember if you saw the film.

The zoo is a nonprofit organization, so it relies on the community for support in many instances. Although an insurance claim was filed Monday, it is not known how much coverage the lemurs will get.

Andrea Blomberg, zoo executive director, said she would take advantage of the situation and improve on the lemur habitat. First, with the absence of the tree, the exhibit will have more space, and the lemurs need the extra space.

"We will be looking at the area and what would be best for the animals. These exotic creatures get chilly if they don't have a good bedroom. They'll need a heat source," she said.

Blomberg said she would also be looking at better ways of feeding, watering, shading and circulating the air in the exhibit.

"The positive thing about starting over is you get to rethink how to do it best."

The old exhibit had great visibility all around it, and that will be a point to consider as well in the new exhibit. "We're looking for visibility and functionality."

Blomberg said it appeared that the huge pecan tree was being eaten from the bottom. So she is having the rest of the trees assessed in the zoo.

Although this was an unfortunate event, we also see this as an opportunity to help the zoo as it continues to progress.

"We've been making great progress. This setback isn't going to stop the progress," she said.

We agree, and we encourage the community to step up and help restore and improve the lemur exhibit.

This editorial reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate's editorial board.



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